Consortium News Blazed the Trail of Russiagate Reporting; Help Us to Continue Telling the Story

With his first article on what would become known as Russiagate—written on Aug. 9, 2016, three months before the election—Bob Parry positioned CN as the leading skeptic of the alleged scandal. 

The White House, Moscow, 2015. (Joe Lauria)

By Joe Lauria
Special to Consortium News

From our founding editor Bob Parry’s first article on Russiagate in August 2016 to Patrick Lawrence’s column on Monday, Consortium News has for nearly four years been in the forefront of skeptical analysis of a purported scandal that  engulfed the United States but then ignominiously collapsed.

Throughout the years in which the American public was subjected to the daily gymnastics of the corporate media trying to brand Donald Trump as a Kremlin agent and Moscow as a destroyer of American democracy,  Consortium News writers, led by Parry, methodically demolished what in the end was proved a reckless theory of conspiracy. 

Parry did so in the name of pursuing critical, non-partisan journalism, for which Parry and his writers nonetheless were smeared as Trump supporters and Kremlin apologists. Being critical only of one’s opposing party, which American journalism has devolved into, is no journalism at all. 

In that first article, Parry provided an inkling of what was to come, identifying what would erupt into Russiagate as “this latest group think.”  That indeed became the case as the media whipped itself into a self-perpetuating frenzy in which at least 50 erroneous stories were published and cool evaluation of facts fell prey to partisan fervor. 

“Today’s Democrats apparently feel little shame in whipping up an anti-Russian hysteria and then using it to discredit Trump and other Americans who won’t join this latest ‘group think,’” Parry wrote. He went on, in a harbinger of things to come:

“While lacking any verifiable proof, Clinton’s campaign and its allied mainstream media have blamed Russian intelligence for hacking into the Democratic National Committee’s emails and then publicizing them through Wikileaks. This conspiracy theory holds that Putin is trying to influence the U.S. election to put his secret agent, Donald Trump, into the White House.”

[See Parry’s first Russiagate story, “Hillary Clinton’s Turn to McCarthyism,” on Aug. 9, 2016, republished today.]

Parry and other CN writers went on to pick apart the core Russiagate allegations: that Russia hacked the Democratic National Committee and gave Clinton emails to WikiLeaks for publication; that the Trump campaign “colluded” with Russia; that President Trump continued to act in the White House as an agent of the Kremlin and lastly, that $100,000 of Facebook ads by a Russian troll farm divided American society.

All of it was ludicrously compared to “a new Pearl Harbor.”   

True Russiagate believers still deny the clear evidence of the Mueller report, that there was no collusion or conspiracy between Russia and the Trump campaign; they deny newly released evidence that the head of a private firm the government relied on to prove Russia’s hack admitted under oath it had no such evidence; and they deny the fact that the Mueller indictment of the troll farm was dropped after the St. Petersburg defendants sought discovery.

The Russiagate saga is not over. The investigation into how all this came about continues.

While Bob is no longer with us, his work on Russiagate carries on at Consortium News. But we can’t do it without you. Help us to continue covering the story that Bob started with a generous, tax-deductible donation during our 25th Anniversary Spring Fund Drive.  Thank you.

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Moscow River at night, 2015. (Joe Lauria)


Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Boston GlobeSunday Times of London and numerous other newspapers. He began his professional career as a stringer for The New York Times.  He can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @unjoe .

8 comments for “Consortium News Blazed the Trail of Russiagate Reporting; Help Us to Continue Telling the Story

  1. Dao Gen
    May 17, 2020 at 01:13

    Isn’t it time we stopped using the misleading tern “Russiagate”? Stephen Cohen has suggested “Intelgate,” and many use “Spygate,” I myself prefer Fakegate. Russia had nothing to do with this whole monumental stinking heap of hot projection-propaganda. Perhaps MSMgate or even a Zen term like Gateless-gate would be preferable. Somehow I feel Robert Parry would be very skeptical of the blame-the-victim misnomer Russiagate.

      May 17, 2020 at 02:57

      Robert Parry was the first to use the term “Russiagate” on this site and continued to use it until his last article on the subject.

  2. May 13, 2020 at 12:36

    Thanks Joe for continuing Bob’s and his memory. Any reference to him always reminds me of Gary Webb and my deceased friend Charles Bowden. You should have recieved my most recent donation by now.
    Since many of you seem to have concluded Russiagate was a vast democratic conspiracy against a fun living golfer and acquirer of beautiful women maybe we can get onto how bad president Trump is. In my opinion he is the third most dangerous idiot on the planet.
    Right after Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin.
    “Keep Scribbling”
    Cal Lash, 79 year old republican and retired cop.

    • May 13, 2020 at 14:45

      Bob Parry was the best. And others are now following his legacy — first and foremost his successor as editor — (Bob was/is the epitome of a “tough act to follow”.)

      It was rare that anyone “out-scooped” Bob, but — giving credit where it’s due — Consortium New’s own Patrick Lawrence beat Bob to the punch, diagnosing the “Russian hacking” farce two weeks before Bob did. I encourage all to read Patrick’s spur-of-the-moment, highly visceral — and just as highly accurate — remarks written even before the Democratic National Convention was over.

      (See: raymcgovern (dot)com/2019/04/18/dnc-gate-patrick-lawrence-saw-through-it-from-the-start/

      Poetic Justice…or?

      On August 9, 2017, exactly a year after Bob Parry’s initial warnings about group think and Russia-gate, Patrick Lawrence published in The Nation “A New Report Raises Big Questions About Last Year’s DNC Hack.”?www (dot) thenation (dot) com/article/a-new-report-raises-big-questions-about-last-years-dnc-hack/
      Lawrence wrote, “Former NSA experts, now members of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), say it wasn’t a hack at all, but a leak—an inside job by someone with access to the DNC’s system.”

      And so it was, it turns out.  Again, Lawrence got it right.  But, sadly, that cut across the grain of acceptable Russia-gate narrative at The Nation.  He was let go.

      Ray McGovern

  3. May 13, 2020 at 10:00

    After having lived in the USA for 25 years I come to the conclusion that the manipulation of the American people by MSM propaganda has reached the BOTTON & is dividing the nation. The election of an outsider like Donald Trump put even more oil on the fire & turned the DNC into a criminal opposition totally neglecting the fact what is in the best interest of the USA. As a result the USA has become a divided ‘banana republic’ where a bunch of incompetent/corrupt democrats like Clinton, Pelosi, Waters, Schiff, Schumer, etc. are willing to sacrifice the future of the Nation. Like the expression that says: Unity builds a nation, division destroys it !!

  4. Nat Parry
    May 13, 2020 at 09:08

    Thank you Joe and to all of the CN writers who have carried on my dad’s legacy. I’m sure if he were still with us, he’d be debunking Russiagate to this day. But even without him doing this work, it looks like the conspiracy theory has now been thoroughly debunked, largely thanks to you all. Good job.

    • Drew Hunkins
      May 18, 2020 at 23:30

      If your dad was alive today he would DEFINITELY still be debunking Russiagate and much of the Russophobia that went along with it.

  5. Flyover Frank
    May 12, 2020 at 16:43

    These Russia-gate hoaxers remind me of those Japanese soldiers stranded on remote Pacific islands still fighting World War II decades after the war was lost. One sort of has to admire their dedication and determination, but . . . really?

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